Essay on Drugs addiction , Behavior, and Modern Society| Psychology
Original Question:
For this week’s Forum, respond to the following: Our forum topic focuses on a trend in advertising we’ve all noticed – direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs. There is a Point/Counterpoint discussion in your textbook readings this week and you may use that as a starting point for responding to the following: Should prescription drugs be advertised to the general public? Why or why not? What are the risks and concerns? What are the benefits?
Reply to the following response with 200 words minimum. (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post. This is not providing an analysis of the original post. Respectfully address it and even ask clarifying or additional questions.)
1.
This is a two-sided argument with valid points for both. I can see the harm in direct to consumer advertising for multiple reasons. The main one is see is that the commercial almost makes it look like life would be better with this medication. During the commercial they do a very open ended summery of the symptoms one may suffer to need to be on their drug. If someone who may suffer from mild depression or mild anxiety watches this they may feel that the drug instead of other methods is their answer to their problems, even if their conditions are temporary or situational. The problem being is now they are taking something that may form a lifelong dependency for something that could have been helped by other means. Not to mention the damage they are doing to their bodies from these drugs that seem to have a shopping list of side effects.
On the positive side, I can see where the consumer being educated on what is in the market could be helpful. It’s well known that drug reps go into doctors’ offices to attempt to get them to recommend and prescribe their drug. This a lot of times can have the Doctors pushing one type of medicine, that the patient may not like or have had a terrible experience from. If they are educated on what is on the market they will be able to possibly ask the doctor for alternative medicines.
I feel there should be more responsibility put on the manufactures of these drugs to use safe and responsible advertising. They should not be allowed to show how “perfect” their drug could make someone’s life. I think it is sending a clear and wrong message. After all aren’t these drugs meant to help someone who is truly suffering from an illness, not to help people who are medically healthy live in a medicated and falsified reality?
2.
Greetings classmates!
Another tough question for this course’s forum topic!
Prescription drugs should be brought to the attention of the population for various reasons that will be mentioned later. Advertising drugs directly to the consumer became legal in 1985 (Folland, Goodman, & Stano, 2013, P. 302). Since then, there have been many advertisements about different medications available to the public. Federal law forbids distributing medications without a prescription. Prescribed medications are required to be ordered by a practitioner who is licensed (Hahn, Payne, Lucas, 2013, P. 375) however, that does not stop consumers from getting prescription drugs.
The risks and concerns are many. The medications advertised may not share all possible side effects to the consumers or may still be getting tested. This should be done prior to its release however, it does not always happen. For instance, Accutane, a familiar acne medication, is known to cause birth defects with those who use it. Now, because of the findings, pregnant women are recommended to avoid medication if not entirely needed (Schneider, 2014, P. 189). If further studies were made on a diverse group, this discovery may have been uncovered. Medications that are increasingly being abused are Ritalin and Adderall. College students have been using these prescription medications for various reasons that may not be advertised. However, many are not aware of the serious side effects of these substances (Hahn, et al., P. 163). Somehow those without prescriptions are obtaining these prescribed substances and using them not under a physician’s guidance. Poisoning deaths have increased over the past decade due to the improper use of prescription medications (Schneider, P. 298). There are also doctors who establish websites so they can practice. They diagnose and prescribe medications to patients without even seeing and examining them in person. There are websites who sell prescription medications to individuals even if they lack a valid prescription (P. 560). Also relayed through websites is information on symptoms and diagnosis. This, in conjunction with advertisements, prompts the patient to take up additional time with the medical care specialist that may not be required (Folland, et al., P. 302). Medications that are not available nor approved in the United States can be found online too. Certain prescription medications are costlier in the United States than out of country. Because of this, people opt to purchase them on the internet to save money. If medications are bought from sources outside of the United States, the Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies cannot do their jobs by protecting users from dishonest and unreliable medical procedures (Schneider, P. 560).
After looking at all of the possible dangers, one may wonder what are the benefits. Direct advertising does lessen the number of days from when the consumers recognized the symptoms to actual medical treatment (Folland, et al., P. 302). It also gets the attention of individuals who may have symptoms yet never got them looked at because they thought nothing of it.
I know the list is short on benefits but if the prescribed medications are used properly and with the right intentions, they can help more than doing harm. Can you think of anything I may have missed?
Marie
References
Folland, S., Goodman, A. C., & Stano, M. (2013). The Economics of Health and Health Care (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Educations, Inc.
Hahn, D. B., Payne, W. A., & Lucas, E. B. (2013). Focus on Health (11th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 9780073529738.
Schneider, M. (2014). Introduction to Public Health (4th Ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
3.
Greetings Professor and Fellow Classmates,
This weeks forum post hits me right in the chest. As a healthcare professional of twenty three years, I know the benefits of being compliant with the healthcare regimen. If a doctor has made a diagnosis or believes he knows what is going on and is awaiting diagnostic test he will prescribe a medicine he believes will work. He believes this medication will work, it is a hit or miss based from his experience or feedback he hears from the consumer. Once diagnostic test come back to reveal what is actually going on, he may or may not prescribe another medication. It is the patients responsibility to follow the doctors recommendation or get a second opinion. The pharmaceutical company has the responsibility of manufacturing, distributing and selling their product. Advertising is one of the ways to reach a large consumer population in a small amount of time. Pharmaceutical reps go into the doctors office’s as well to provide them with samples to ensure patients are getting the help through medicine that they need. We are living in a time when many people want to go all natural and homeopathic medicine is on the rise. The pharmaceutical companies are getting a bad rap because people choose to abuse prescriptions drugs. The advertisements are also a part of being an informed consumer. If you didn’t know what was out there how could one say,”Dr. I heard of this. What do you think?” Some people watch an ad and automatically, they feel like they have the symptoms and want to try this drug. That isn’t the fault of the pharmaceutical company. Each individual needs to know themselves, don’t be so gullible to follow after everything you read or see in advertisement. Don’t be so willing to believe something is wrong with you. The mind is powerful and that is what advertisement plays on the mind, without necessarily being the overall intent. The doctor is responsible for knowing his patient, their diagnosis and the medications available for them. He also has to make an informed decision based on what other medications the consumer is taking and what other diagnoses are present. Some medications are contraindicated based on what other medications are present. Some times the doctor will take into consideration whether the medication prescribed is benefiting the patient. When the patient comes and says I saw this ad, the physician may have thought about that medication or overlooked it, he’s human. Advertisement can be a good thing in aiding the physician to make decisions for which path to take with a particular illness.
My overall belief with prescription drug advertisement is that it is necessary for the public, so they can be informed consumers. The consumer can look up the medication in a Physician drug Reference or google it and learn for themselves. They can see what the side effects are, how the drug works and how they can benefit from that drug. I believe the physician is trained and is the expert along with the pharmacist. The patient knows their body and mind better than anyone else and should aide the physician by giving feedback as to what is working and what isn’t. At times a person is weak and they can be influenced wrongly without intent from the pharmacist or physician with advertisements. Trust needs to be restored between physician,pharmacist and patient.
At one time the doctors word was gospel and no one questioned his/her decision regarding the diagnosis he made or medications prescribed. The focus changed to wanting the patient to be informed, some patients not all have abused the entire healthcare system. If I’m not satisfied I’ll go over here, If the doctor doesn’t do what I want I’ll go over there, I’m paying him/her. The doctor now learns to appease the patient and give them what they want instead of what they need in order to keep their business or because they really do care for the patient. I work with many physicians they love their patients not just their business. The topic of prescription drug advertisement being available to the public should be seen as a benefit to the consumer. Yes, the pharmaceutical company is making billions of dollars through advertisements. If the medication is doing its intended job and helping the consumer why wouldn’t we want it advertised?

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